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140 Whispered the old rhyme: “ Under the tree,

When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.

The moon above the eastern wood

Shone at its full; the hill-range stood 145 Transfigured in the silver flood,

Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green

Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black 150 Against the whiteness at their back.

For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where'er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

155 Shut in from all the world without,

We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In battle rage at pane and door,

While the red logs before us beat
160 The frost-line back with tropic heat;

And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught

The great throat of the chimney laughed, 165 The house-dog on his paws outspread

Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat's dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger's seemed to fall;

And, for the winter fireside meet,
170 Between the andirons' straddling feet,

The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,

And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October's wood.

175 What matter how the night behaved ?

What matter how the north-wind raved ?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow.

O Time and Change! — with hair as gray 180 As was my sire's that winter day,

How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou

Are left of all that circle now, — 185 The dear home faces whereupon

That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still ;

Look where we may, the wide earth o'er, 190 Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,

We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees

And rustle of the bladed corn;
195 We turn the pages that they read,

Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,

No step is on the conscious floor! 200 Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,

(Since He who knows our need is just,) That somehow, somewhere, meet we must. Alas for him who never sees

The stars shine through his cypress-trees! 205 Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,

Nor looks to see the breaking day

Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,

The truth to flesh and sense unknown, 210 That Life is ever lord of Death,

And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,

Or stammered from our school-book lore 215 “ The chief of Gambia's golden shore.”

How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery's shaping hand,
As if a trumpet called, I've heard

Dame Mercy Warren's rousing word: 220 “ Does not the voice of reason cry,

Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of bondage fly,

Nor deign to live a burdened slave !"

Our father rode again his ride
225 On Memphremagog's wooded side;

Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper's hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease

Beneath St. François' hemlock-trees; 230 Again for him the moonlight shone

On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away,

And mingled in its merry whirl
235 The grandam and the laughing girl.

Or, nearer home, our steps he led

219. Mrs. Mercy Warren was the wife of James Warren, a prominent patriot at the beginning of the Revolution. Her poetry was read in an age that bad in America little to read under that name; her society was sought by the best men.

Where Salisbury's level marshes spread

Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;

Where merry mowers, hale and strong, 240 Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along

The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar's Head,

And round the rocky Isles of Shoals

The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals; 245 The chowder on the sand-beach made,

Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the pot.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,

And dream and sign and marvel told 250 To sleepy listeners as they lay

Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow

The square sail of the gundalow 255 And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down

At midnight on Cochecho town, 260 And how her own great-uncle bore

His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,

So rich and picturesque and free,

(The common unrhymed poetry 265 Of simple life and country ways,)

The story of her early days, –
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look

259. Dover in New Hampshire.

270 At the gray wizard's conjuring-book,

The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,

The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
275 The loon's weird laughter far away ;

We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown

She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down, 280 Saw where in sheltered cove and bay

The ducks' black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild geese calling loud,
Beneath the gray November cloud.

Then, haply, with a look more grave, 285 And soberer tone, some tale she gave

From painful Sewel's ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,

Or Chalkley's Journal, old and quaint, 290 Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! 286. William Sewel was the historian of the Quakers. Charles Lamb seemed to have as good an opinion of the book as Whittier. In his essay A Quakers' Meeting in Essuys of Elia, he says: Reader, if you are not acquainted with it, I would recommend to you, above all church-narratives, to read Sewel's ‘History of the Quakers.',. ... It is far more edifying and affecting than anything you will read of Wesley or his colleagues."

289. Thomas Chalkley was an Englishman of Quaker parentage, born in 1675, who travelled extensively as a preacher, and finally made his home in Philadelphia. He died in 1749; his Journal was first published in 1747. His own narrative of the incident which the poet relates is as follows: “To stop their murmuring, I told them they should not need to cast lots, which was usual in such cases, which of us should die first, for I would freely offer up my life to do them good. One said, God bless you! I will not eat any of you.' Another said “He would

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